More Strong Tower Moments – The Vision

For 20 years, thousands of young people have come through the programs at Strong Tower Ranch. They’ve had experiences like no other, and have coined the phrase “Strong Tower Moments.”

They’ve found love and refuge from a harsh world. They’ve learned the truth and grace of a loving Savior. They’ve found conviction and encouragement to live by biblical principles.

STR’s primary focus has been on children ages 6-14. Youth ages 15 and up have been recruited to help staff Day Camps and serve in the barn along with a couple programs that serve them. Every year, Day Camp has  increased its focus on the mentoring of these youth so they can both serve well and have their own needs met. They are in the time of life where they are making decisions about what to  believe, who they will be, and who/what they will follow.

God has given STR a unique program where these older teens and young adults are challenged to serve selflessly, learn how to be a leader, and then have their own hearts ministered to and their own questions answered. They have experienced impactful “Strong Tower Moments” that have carried on into life beyond their summers at STR. After several years of seeing tremendous fruit with teens and young adults, STR is ready to expand this part of its programming. STR is excited to announce plans to build a facility that will allow for more Strong Tower Moments.

The estimated cost of this building is $800,000.  We believe that amount will come down when we begin construction and some labor and materials are donated, but we need to raise a significant portion of that before we begin construction. Thank you for making your most generous possible contribution. (PLEASE NOTE: If donating by check, please put “STR YC Fund” in the memo line.)

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  • Housing for teens and young adults who serve as  Day Camp counselors
  • Lodging for teen camps
  • Storm shelter for day campers
  • Youth center for follow up ministry with teens and young adults throughout the year
  • Lodging for local churches and other like-minded groups who would benefit from holding events and retreats at STR


Main Level (3,432 square feet)

  • Four 8-person Bunk Rooms that fit STR’s small group philosophy
  • Restrooms inside bunk rooms keep youth and leaders from having to leave rooms at night
  • Dining Area and Meeting Area that is flexible to allow for more seating for either dining or meeting
  • Kitchen, Fellowship Area with furniture and fireplace

Upper Level (2,156 square feet)

  • Small rooms for couples or single adults (extra staff who come with mission groups or for marriage retreats)
  • Office and meeting room for STR
  • Private conversation seating

Lower Level has inside activity area and porch (3,432 square feet)

STR Teen/Young Adult Program Staff

These staff already have extensive experience working with youth at STR and are well-loved. We are grateful for their faithfulness, vision, and most of all, their passion to bring God’s love and truth to youth.

Mark and Joy Willis
Mark and Joy have been in ministry for over 20 years serving as youth, associate, and senior pastors. They love youth as  evidenced by their own seven (five teens). They have served at STR for 10 years and have a heart to pour into the volunteers year-round, training and encouraging them through team building activities,  fireside conversations, and community.

Alex and Madelyn Bentz
Madelyn grew up working at the Ranch and Alex started in 2016. They make a  dynamic duo and have committed to    expanding their role. They just finished Bible college and Alex is entering Covenant Seminary. They have great “vibes” with the kids. Their leadership is sensitive to the kids’ needs and they have creative ideas.

Ed Liliensiek
Ed taught science and coached high school basketball, sponsored FCA, led youth at church, was principal at Timberland High School for 12 years, and has volunteered at STR for 6 years. He is a great encourager and life coach for the youth leaders.

STR Ministry Leaders

Michele Emge
Day Camp Committee Lead
Michele has been recruiting and overseeing the training of teens and young adults for 10 years with the DC program and was a volunteer for seven years prior.

Lori Brooks
Horsemanship Committee Lead
Lori has been leading teen programs in the barn for 11 years and was a volunteer for 5 years prior. She has mentored many teens into STR leadership roles.

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